The 8 Best Shower Curtains of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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We added five new picks: Brooklinen’s Shower Curtain, Parachute’s Turkish Shower Curtain, Quiet Town’s Sun Shower, Crate & Barrel’s Kasura Stripe Watercolor, and Anthropologie’s Agneta Organic Cotton Shower Curtain. Pvc Weld Curtain

A well-designed shower curtain can add a touch of color and personality to your bathroom, or it can be an art piece in its own right—as long as it’s also functional.

We spent 40 hours researching and testing 18 shower curtains, and we came away with six that we love.

We have recommendations for a classic waffle-weave shower curtain, a quick-drying cotton one, a modern curtain, a beachy option, a luxurious cotton curtain, and a floral one (as well as liner and hook recommendations).

This affordable shower curtain will fit well in any bathroom. It’s machine-washable and made from a durable cotton-polyester waffle weave, but when we used it without a liner, it took longer to dry than our all-cotton picks.

Best for: Someone who wants a classic, easy-to-clean shower curtain that will look good in any style of bathroom, and someone who doesn’t mind a cotton-polyester blend.

The Threshold Waffle Weave Shower Curtain is a stylish and versatile curtain that provides a spa-like feel at an affordable price. It comes in a clean white or soft gray—two neutral options that coordinate well with the decor of most bathrooms.

It’s well made and classic. The cotton-polyester material has a nice heft to it, and it’s labeled Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (a third-party certification verifying that it’s free from some potentially harmful chemicals). The curtain’s even, strong stitching withstood repeated laundering in my apartment building’s very old (and far from gentle) washer and dryer. This curtain also gives a bathroom that classic spa look.

It’s easy to hang and take down. This shower curtain has metal grommets, as opposed to unreinforced buttonholes; the grommets made the always-arduous process of hanging and taking down a curtain significantly easier.

It’s easy to care for. You can toss it in the washer as well as the dryer, though it will probably shrink.

It shrinks quite a bit. After we put this shower curtain through two laundry cycles (cold-water wash, low-heat tumble dry), we found the width shrank by 2 inches and the length by 4 inches. These new dimensions were still more than adequate for our bathtub setup, but those lost inches may be a dealbreaker for you.

It stays wet longer. If you’re not using a liner, know that the thickness of the fabric (which lends the curtain its luxurious feel) also lengthens the time it takes the curtain to dry (just under six hours for us).

This shower curtain comes in four modern patterns. It can be used without a liner, and it’s machine-washable, so it’s one of our lower-maintenance (but pricier) picks.

Best for: Someone who wants a 100% cotton shower curtain that dries impressively fast and comes in modern patterns, and someone who doesn’t want to bother with a liner.

The Brooklinen Shower Curtain is a lightweight, 100% cotton curtain that comes in four modern and cheery patterns (including the Oxford Stripe one we tested). We think it would look good in almost any bathroom.

You can skip the liner. Other fabric shower curtains we tested without using a liner took hours to dry, but the Brooklinen was mostly dry in minutes. The lightweight cotton fabric is tightly woven, and it prevented water leakage so well that we suspected it might have been treated with a waterproof coating; the company promises it was not. We dumped water on this curtain and sprayed it using the showerhead; the water mostly just beaded and rolled off, absorbing minimally.

It doesn’t shrink much. After two rounds in the laundry, this shower curtain lost only 3 inches in width and 1¾ inches in length—not bad for a curtain that’s 100% cotton (only the Anthropologie Agneta and Crate & Barrel Kasura curtains shrank less, but just barely).

It’s pricey. This curtain costs almost three times as much as the Threshold Waffle Weave Shower Curtain (depending on sales).

It’s not for the shy. This curtain is airy and lightweight enough to feel like a bed sheet hanging in your bathroom, and that means your body’s outline could be visible through it. If you need an opaque layer between you and the world while you’re showering, we recommend adding our shower-liner pick.

It wrinkles. After machine-washing and -drying this shower curtain twice, it was quite wrinkled, more so than any of our other picks. (It smoothed out with the steam from a hot shower.)

It has buttonhole loops. We don’t think these will be a dealbreaker for most people, but they are more cumbersome to put on and take off of hooks than metal grommets—especially if you like to launder your curtains often.

This heavyweight clear vinyl curtain comes in a wide array of colors. You can use it by itself or as a liner. It’s not machine-washable, though.

Best for: Someone who wants a well-made, colorful, and crystal-clear vinyl shower curtain that makes a statement (and can double as a liner).

The Quiet Town Sun Shower brings an edgy splash of color to your bathroom in the form of a brightly hued, transparent shower curtain. It can be used alone or as a liner with a fabric shower curtain.

It comes in cheery colors. This curtain comes in a wide array of modern color options, from subtle peach to bright yellow (you can also get it in dual colors, but you’ll have to pay more). If you want to first see the colors in person, you can get a swatch card for $5.

It won’t shrink or wrinkle. Unlike our fabric shower curtain recommendations, this curtain will never shrink or get wrinkly. But you’ll also have to clean it by hand, which you can mostly do while it’s hanging. (A regular deep clean will probably require removing the curtain from the hooks. How regularly you’ll need to clean it depends on your water quality and how often you use the curtain. If you have hard water, you will have to clean it more often.)

It’s made with heavy-duty, PVC-free materials. The Sun Shower curtain is made of sturdy, thick EVA (a safer, phthalate- and chlorine-free alternative to PVC vinyl). The material is also BPA-free and, according to Quiet Town, “non-chlorinated (zero off-gassing).” (We can’t confirm this claim.) The curtain has large brass grommets, which are easy to hook.

It’s not machine-washable. Though you can likely get away with spot-cleaning the Quiet Town curtain most of the time, the manufacturer recommends regular deep cleaning to keep it free of mildew. However, you can’t just throw this curtain in the washing machine and call it a day. The suggested cleaning protocol involves taking down the curtain, laying it flat, spraying it with cleanser, gently scrubbing it with a soft brush, and rinsing it clean. If you’d rather launder your shower curtain, then this curtain may not be for you.

It won’t hide your shower mess. While testing the Sun Shower curtain, I quickly learned that I could no longer use my shower curtain to conceal my shower’s messy interior from guests, a surprising downside for me.

This 100% cotton curtain features a subdued watercolor design and was fast to dry. But it’s pricey, and we recommend using a liner with it.

Best for: Someone who wants a well-made cotton shower curtain that looks like a piece of art (and someone who doesn’t mind its higher price).

The Crate & Barrel Kasura Stripe Watercolor Shower Curtain has horizontal stripes in soothing blues, grays, and taupe. The design, by artist Kelly Ventura, looks like an abstract rendering of the ocean.

It’s well made and dries quickly. The curtain is made of tightly woven 100% cotton percale. Among the fabric shower curtains we tested, it was one of the fastest to dry in our water tests. The seams are well made, and the whole thing looks to be of high quality.

It has a simple, beautiful pattern. This curtain’s beach-toned stripes bring serenity to the bathroom. The color palette is neutral enough that the curtain should look at home in many bathrooms.

It’s true to size and easy to clean. Out of the package, this shower curtain was slightly larger than its listed dimensions. So after some minimal shrinkage in the laundry, it was approximately the correct size. It’s machine-washable, and you can tumble-dry it on low.

It wrinkles. Like the Brooklinen curtain, this one came out of the wash pretty wrinkled. After a few showers, the steam smoothed out the wrinkles.

It’s pricey. This curtain also costs around the same as the Brooklinen curtain, so it’s one of the more expensive simple cotton options.

It comes in only one color combination. Unlike the rest of our picks, this design has only one color option.

You’ll need a liner. The fabric is very thin; some reviewers found it to be flimsy. We recommend pairing this shower curtain with our shower curtain liner pick. Some reviewers also noted that the colors faded after the curtain was washed; we didn’t notice this.

It has buttonhole loops. Loops make a curtain more cumbersome to put on and take off of hooks than curtains with metal grommets. For most people, the decision will be primarily an aesthetic one, but it’s something to take into account if you launder your curtain frequently.

This high-quality, striped cotton shower curtain is expensive. But it immediately elevates any space while carrying out its main function: keeping water where it’s supposed to be.

Best for: Someone who wants a high-quality, beautiful cotton shower curtain, and someone who doesn’t mind spending more and having to take extra care when cleaning it.

The luxurious cotton Parachute Turkish Shower Curtain made me feel like I was bathing in a beach house and not in a dingy New York City apartment.

It’s pretty and made of high-quality materials. Woven from long-staple Turkish cotton, this shower curtain is a pleasure to touch, with gorgeously textured slate gray stripes and hand-knotted white tassels along the bottom. It’s expensive, but it’s still a lot cheaper than similar curtains we tested—like the Coyuchi Rippled Curtain.

It’s sturdier than it looks. Ignoring the Parachute laundering instructions—wash on a delicate cycle using a mesh bag, and line-dry—we decided to replicate the conditions of a typical person’s busy life. We washed the curtain as we did all the others we tested: with a full load of laundry, in a regular wash cycle on cold, and tumble-dry on low. This shower curtain fared better than others, which bled dye or developed loose threads. We noticed some shrinkage, but the curtain was oversize to begin with, so it ended up just under the listed dimensions.

It’s our most expensive pick. Perhaps the biggest drawback with the Parachute Turkish Shower Curtain is the price.

If you use it without a liner, it will take a while to dry. After I poured a cup of water on the curtain, it remained damp for six hours. Still, when I showered at night with this curtain (which kept the water in the tub, even without a liner), it was fully dry by the next morning. And there was no hint of a mildew smell.

It has buttonhole loops. Again, we think for most people this is primarily a style preference, but loops are more cumbersome to put on and take off of hooks than metal grommets are.

This bright, organic cotton shower curtain can be a lovely accent piece in a bathroom, but it’s also one of our priciest picks. And when you first wash it, the dye may run.

Best for: Someone who wants a cotton shower curtain with vibrant florals.

The Anthropologie Agneta Organic Cotton Shower Curtain’s bright flower print immediately catches the eye, and it’s colorful enough to complement many different styles of bathroom decor.

The floral pattern is vibrant and colorful. This crisp and detailed floral printed shower curtain comes with a choice of background color: navy or cream. We tested the navy version, the darkness of which brought a pleasing element of shadow and contrast to my otherwise white bathroom. This shower curtain gave the mundane act of bathing a magical, Secret Garden-esque feel. Unlike with other curtains we tested that had bold patterns, with this one, the quality matched the beautiful print.

It dries quickly. The thin, cotton fabric dried quickly during our water tests and after (liner-less) showers, but not as fast as the Brooklinen or Crate & Barrel curtains. We recommend using a liner to prevent water from leaving the shower and the dye from bleeding.

Yes, it’s washable, but the dye may run. After the first wash, we noticed that the navy blue dye bled onto a white item that was in the washing machine with this shower curtain. (Several reviewers also experienced this issue.) The dye did come out of the white item completely in a second wash, and we did not see any new stains from the shower curtain. We also noticed some very minor fraying and shrinkage after it went through the washer and dryer. We recommend washing this curtain by itself the first time.

You’ll need a liner. When we didn’t use one, the thin cotton fabric didn’t keep water from leaving our shower. Also, some reviews mentioned that the dye ran even when the shower curtain got wet from regular use in the shower—another reason to use a liner.

It has buttonhole loops. These loops are more cumbersome to put on and take off of hooks than metal grommets are (something to keep in mind if you wash your curtain often).

This washable polyester shower liner resists soap scum better than flimsy plastic liners, and it’s thick enough to double as a standalone shower curtain.

Shower curtain liners are great for extending the life of any shower curtain, and they’re especially useful if your curtain doesn’t dry quickly or you have a poorly ventilated bathroom. We recommend the Maytex Water Repellent Fabric Shower Curtain Liner.

It’s affordable and low-maintenance. Of the four polyester liners we looked at, the Maytex liner was the least expensive. The Maytex liner is inexpensive enough that you could replace it every couple of months without breaking the bank, but it’s durable enough that you probably won’t have to. It’s machine-washable, and the fabric is surprisingly breathable (for polyester), so it’s better at warding off mildew and soap scum than many other liners we tested. The Maytex liner also has weights in the two bottom corners, and they do a pretty good job of holding the curtain flat inside your shower.

It can serve as a standalone curtain. The liner is 100% polyester fabric (which is more breathable and curtain-like than plastic liners), and it could pass as a basic, standalone shower curtain. It comes in three color options (white, off-white, and black), so it can add a layer of personalization that’s hard to find in liners (most come only in white).

These hooks slide smoothly along a curtain rod, can easily fit a curtain and its liner, and come in tons of colors.

If you want hooks that just work, we recommend the Amazer Shower Curtain Hooks.

Generously sized and durable. These shower curtain hooks were slightly larger than other pear-shaped, rolling shower curtain rings. So there was plenty of room to hang even the thickest shower curtains on rods of any size. And their steel and nickel loops felt more durable than those of competitors. These hooks come in more than a dozen colors and finishes, so you should be able to find a set to suit your style.

Besides reexamining our previous shower curtain picks and taking into account reader feedback, we scoured new user reviews, online discussions, and offerings from well-regarded companies. We focused on standard-size shower curtains, which usually measure about 72 by 72 inches. Other sizes include long (72 by 84 inches), extra-long (72 by 96 inches or larger), and stall (54 by 78 inches). A standard tub-and-shower combo curtain measures around 72 by 60 inches.

For the previous version of this article, Tyler Wells Lynch interviewed interior designer Jeff Schwartz, of J. Schwartz Design. I spoke with experts at the New York City Department of Sanitation and FCC Environmental Services to learn about where discarded shower curtains end up (the landfill). And I interviewed a professional house cleaner to discuss best cleaning practices.

From there, we came up with a list of 48 shower curtains, which we then winnowed down to 18 curtains using the following considerations:

I’m disabled and use a wheelchair, so I enlisted an assistant to help with the more physical aspects of testing:

You should buy the shower curtain that you’re most likely to clean. If taking the curtain down every two weeks or once a month (depending on how well ventilated your bathroom is) and throwing it in the laundry sounds doable, buy a fabric shower curtain or liner. If you’re more likely to scrub the soap scum off the curtain in the shower, then a vinyl shower curtain or liner might be the better choice. The best way to extend your shower curtain’s lifespan is to prevent mildew and bacteria growth by cleaning the curtain regularly according to the instructions on the label. Joyce Barber, a professional house cleaner, recommends putting the shower curtain in the laundry or wiping it down with cleaning fluid (depending on the material) at the first sign of grime. (To help you get started, we have a step-by-step guide to cleaning your shower curtain.) We also suggest that you run a fan (or open a window) after showering, to dry the area more quickly.

When it comes to shower curtains, the best thing you can do for the environment is to take care of your curtain so you can use it for as long as possible. Despite what companies may say, most municipal recycling centers don’t accept vinyl (PVC, PEVA, or EVA) and many plastic shower curtains. (Curtains can also get tangled in the sorting machines.)

If you want to avoid buying unnecessary plastics altogether, we recommend that you buy a shower curtain made of thick or tightly woven cotton or another natural fiber and forgo the liner. Even though woven polyester lasts longer than its vinyl counterpart, it is still plastic. Depending on the climate you live in and how well ventilated your bathroom is, you may still decide to use a liner. But when we tested our cotton or cotton-blend shower curtain picks in my small, windowless, fanless New York City bathroom, we found that all of them (except the Anthropologie pick) prevented water from leaving the shower.

And if you have a vinyl shower curtain or liner that’s reached the end of its lifespan, consider repurposing it as a picnic or painting tarp, a bike or outdoor furniture cover, or even a poncho.

If you want an all-cotton shower curtain that comes in extra-long sizes: A previous upgrade pick, the Crate & Barrel Pebble Matelassé White Shower Curtain is a white, all-cotton shower curtain with a pebbled texture. It comes in an extra-long size (84 inches). And it will imbue any bathroom with an air of luxury—its price reflects that. We thought the Target Waffle Weave Shower Curtain provided a similar feel for a quarter of the price. This Crate & Barrel shower curtain is Oeko-Tex 100 certified.

If you want a shower curtain with a fun, playful design: The larger-than-life floral print on Target’s Room Essentials Exploded Graphic Shower Curtain adds cheer to any bathroom. This curtain was the least expensive we tested, and its thin fabric, a blend of cotton and recycled polyester, felt like it. There were a few loose threads after laundering, but it otherwise held up well and had minimal shrinkage. This shower curtain is Oeko-Tex 100 certified.

If you have a thick shower curtain: The Maytex Metal Double Roller Glide Shower Curtain Rings consist of two open hooks that hold the liner and curtain separately. Unlike most rings, the Maytex rings don’t have hardware that opens and closes. And the wider spacing also helps separate two layers (great for thick curtains). But in our tests, vinyl liners or lighter-weight shower curtains often popped off the hooks, and this might be a dealbreaker for homes with small children.

If you frequently launder your shower curtain: When we were repeatedly hanging and taking down the shower curtains, we found it was easier to use the Made by Design Hook Without Roller Ball Shower Curtain Rings. Because these hooks don’t close, some might find them to be less secure, especially if they’re being used with both a shower curtain and liner.

The Coyuchi Rippled Stripe Organic Shower Curtain in black and ivory has a beautiful pattern and texture. But during testing it kept going in and out of stock. It also comes in white and black.

We liked the three shower curtains we tested from Urban Outfitters (the Camille Floral Shower Curtain, the Kiko Shower Curtain, and the Myla Floral Shower Curtain), but they constantly went in and out of stock.

Of the curtains we tested this time around, Target’s Threshold Stripe Shower Curtain (a previous pick) saw some of the worst shrinkage, losing a whopping 5½ inches in width and 4 inches in length.

We were intrigued by the Outlines Shower Liner System, a subscription-based system that aims to recycle used liners, rather than throwing them in the landfill. Outlines’ shower curtains have a top part made of cotton and a bottom part made of non-toxic PEVA that you can trade in as needed to be recycled. While we love that Outlines has figured out how to recycle PEVA, we think a disposable (albeit recyclable) option isn’t the answer. Maintaining the shower curtain or liner you have is the most sustainable thing you can do.

The Geometric Watercolor Shower Curtain from artist Tina Carroll is a top seller on Etsy; although we liked its vibrant colors, we didn’t love the 100% polyester material. And returns are generally not accepted—at this price, that isn’t a small commitment.

The Jungalow Soleil Shower Curtain by Justina Blakeney is a cotton shower curtain that’s lined on the inside with polyester, but we found that water went straight through it. The cotton layer also shrank slightly more than the polyester in the laundry, so the liner was visible at the bottom.

Society6 offers more than a hundred design and pattern options, and the company works with independent artists. But we read too many negative reviews about uneven print quality and a confusing return process to feel comfortable recommending this company’s shower curtains. Also, the one we tested—Soft Shapes by City Art—was not waterproof, and water from the shower sprayed straight through it, despite its being 100% polyester.

This article was edited by Daniela Gorny and Christine Ryan.

Bruce Magnuson, senior general manager, FCC Environmental Services, phone interview, January 17, 2023

Vincent Gragnani, press secretary, New York City Department of Sanitation, email interview, January 18, 2023

Joyce Barber, house cleaner, phone interview, February 15, 2023

Tingzhu Teresa Meng, Volatile organic compounds of polyethylene vinyl acetate plastic are toxic to living organisms, The Journal of Toxicological Sciences, 2014

Claire Perlman is editor of accessibility and aging in place at Wirecutter. She was previously a research reporter at ProPublica, where she investigated the pitfalls of New York City’s paratransit service, the separation of immigrant children from their families, and more. She recently received a master's degree in social work from Hunter College and also holds a bachelor’s in English from UC Berkeley. She lives in New York with her cat.

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